Sunday, July 02, 2017

Darkness and Light

Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
Suicide remarks are torn
From the fool’s gold mouthpiece the hollow horn
Plays wasted words, proves to warn
That he not busy being born is busy dying - Dylan "It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)"

By the time we got to Woodstock
We were half a million strong
And everywhere there was song and celebration - Joni Mitchell "Woodstock"

Pride Parade NYC June 2017
The burst of color,  people expressing themselves boldly with pride.  Even the smaller contingents like the "Gay and Sober" and the "Queer Middle Easterners and North African Fabulousness" celebrating  "Happy Eid Pride" were out there  with the rest of them - being gay in the  happy sense of the word.

I envied them. To be so proud, the show one's values to the world. To dance along the streets of Manhattan. It was enough to restore one's faith in humanity.

Which is just what I needed. Something uplifting. Something to take myself  out of the dread of GETTING OLD. 

After all, if those people in the Pride parade who can face the post-Trump world with joy and defiance, why can't I. But somehow I can't.

There isn't a Pride Boomer thing. Probably because we are fast leaving this world.

Over the past 6 months I have been rather down. Getting old is not much fun. Worse,  people who think they are well-meaning, can be pretty obtuse.

What gets up my nose is the "compliments" that I am starting to get. A few examples will suffice.

Elderly gentleman onlooker at the Pride March when I sat down on a bench: "Oh, you are nearly as old as me!"

Person unnamed: "Gee you are  pretty good for your age, being able to take subways.."

Person unnamed: "You must be in good shape for that dog bite to have healed so quickly."

CityMD doctor on examining me for a back injury: "Kick your legs up ... oh my. I can't even do that, you are flexible."

And on it goes ....

I remember the fun we had back in the seventies. When we, thinking ourselves the avant-guarde, protested everything that had no intrinsic merit.

Why should we women stay at home and have babies? And if we did (have babies) why did we have to be confined to hospital for ten days? Why should men go to war and we women couldn't? Why should there even BE a war, and if there was, why couldn't we fight in it?  Every woman should breast-feed. And later, why should we have to breast feed.? Why is there public housing everywhere, except where there are parks, and then why don't they put parks (or public housing) in the outer suburbs? Why should people have to live in the outer suburbs?

Gay Guy in Silver With iPad
As much as I was one of those people, there were times when I felt conflicted. Still I went with the (in) crowd  -  I was young,  and it was all about being young and all-knowing.

But now I am not young. And the millennials do not know what we fought for, or care. And why should they?  Which is all well and understandable. I didn't "get" what my dad went through in the "Great Depression". Though to be fair, I did know what it was.

Still it was great to see the Pride march -  it was the most diverse group of people I have ever seen all together. I loved the contingents - the Green Pot Party, the nurses, the teachers, the sober gays, the ever so fabulous trans people - and OMG how they wore those heals. Better you than me darhling!

Maybe I am a pessimist ... but a little bit of me died then, when  exhausted from standing in the heat for four hours, I sat down on a bench and the old guy said, "Gee, you are nearly as old as me."

Actually, to be grammatically correct, he should have said, "Gee, you are nearly as old as I."

But I was too out out of breath to respond. 

Boomer Pride!!!

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